“Their needs were tailored to what we do,” says Tony DeStefano, director of integrated systems for TAC, Secaucus, N.J. “They wanted access control and video, as well as HVAC and building automation. Their engineering department looked at several different integrators, but decided to go with our platform because it was the truly integrated platform at the time.”
The system, begun in 2002, now encompasses all of Merck’s major buildings around the world.
The pharmaceutical industry has unique standards requirements that had to be met, as well, DeStefano reveals.
“The manufacturing process has to be governed by temperature and humidity. They wanted a system that could record the temperature, because in a very clean environment, you have to record that information and be able at any time to tell what the humidity level and temperature were.
“That was critical to them, and they wanted a system that could do it all.”
The resulting solution records all of the events in the manufacturing process and is married with video of the event and access control – who was in the room at that time. The environmental information is controlled through a different dedicated server, but the information is displayed on the access control screen.
The decision-making process Merck went through was typical of clients of an enterprise-class system, DeStefano adds. “IT, engineering, facility management, procurement, security â€” all those entities were involved.”
One unique requirement Merck presented to TAC was the need to connect with their HR database. “Because they are so huge and global, they created their own HR software,” DeStefano says. “When you do stuff like that, it is somewhat complex to integrate. We had to write custom software to integrate with their proprietary HR database. That is often typical of an enterprise solution.”
Since the project began in 2002, new video technology has come to the forefront of the market, and TAC and Merck worked together to upgrade from analog to IP video.
Overall, DeStefano says, the system is very effective. “It has been running for quite a few years. It has not failed. Both the environmental conditions of the building, as well as the security requirements, have been constantly up and running.”